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Berlin 09 Review: In the Electric Mist

A week into the Berlinale and the general critical response ranges from “meh” to bloody awful. I’m more in the so-so camp, having seen a few films that spoke to me in certain ways, but not having seen anything that blows me away. Nothing like The Counterfeiters from 2007 or Hallam Foe from the same year or Offside, from 2006. So far nothing makes me say “Wow!”
Bertrand Tavernier’s In the Electric Mist suffers from a number of maladies which combine to turn a potentially gripping murder cum supernatural thriller into a slightly muddled minor disappointment, albeit one with enough acting, direction and meaty plot to make it an interesting and worthwhile disappointment with much of that let down coming in the form of a rather unsatisfying reveal of the killer.
The film centers around Tommy Lee Jones, who is treading familiar territory as Dave Robicheaux a hard boiled police lieutenant in New Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Jones has a strong moral core, a laconic disposition and a troubled past (this time it’s alcoholism) and Jones could play this role in his sleep but to his credit, Jones rarely phones in a performance and this one is no difference. He’s compelling to watch for the duration.
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